Between the Lines: The Book of Revolutions

By :  Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Sep 20, 2022 / 5783 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines


Part of Between the Lines: Author Conversations from The Library of JTS

This is a conversation about The Book of Revolutions: The Battles of Priests, Prophets and Kings with author Rabbi Edward Feld and JTS’s Rabbi Jan Uhrbach. In dramatic historical accounts grounded in recent Bible scholarship, Feld unveils the epic saga of ancient Israel as the visionary legacy of inspired authors in different times and places. Prophetic teaching and differing social realities shaped new understandings concretized in three distinct law codes incorporated in the Torah. Revolutionary biblical ideas often encountered great difficulties in their time before they triumphed. Eventually master editors wove the threads together, intentionally preserving competing narratives and law codes. Ultimately, the Torah is an emblem of pluralistic belief born of revolutionary moments that preserved spiritual realities that continue to speak powerfully to us today.

Read Publisher’s Weekly interview with Rabbi Feld


Rabbi Edward Feld is the author most recently of The Book of Revolutions: The Battles of Priests, Prophets, and Kings that Birthed the Torah (Jewish Publication Society). Reviewers have called the book, “stunning,” and “an essential religious and cultural history.” Rabbi Feld is also the senior editor of Mahzor Lev Shalem and Siddur Lev Shalem for Shabbat and Festivals. He is currently at work on a weekday siddur in the series. Rabbi Feld’s other publications include Joy, Despair and Hope: Reading Psalms (Cascade Press) and The Spirit of Renewal: Finding Faith After the Holocaust (Jewish Lights). In his noted career, Rabbi Feld has served as rabbi-in-residence at JTS; Hillel director and college chaplain at Princeton University, the University of Illinois, and Smith and Amherst Colleges; and as rabbi and spiritual leader of the Society of the Advancement of Judaism.


Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is founding director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. She brings a passion for prayer to the JTS community. Through her work as director of the Block / Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts, she has developed and overseen programs and discussions, as well as prayer services on Shabbat and festivals, for the JTS community and the general public.

In addition to her role at JTS, Rabbi Uhrbach serves as the founding rabbi of the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons in Bridgehampton, Long Island, enabling her to mentor many of JTS’s rabbinical and cantorial students in a congregational setting. She has played a key role in the acclaimed Lev Shalem prayer book series as associate editor of Siddur Lev Shalem, the Shabbat and festival siddur published by the Rabbinical Assembly in 2016. She also served on the editorial committee for Machzor Lev Shalem.

A distinguished teacher of Torah, she is also a member of the Wexner Heritage faculty, and has taught and served as scholar-in-residence in many synagogues.